Seattle mayor, Democrat Ed Murray, is stepping down Tuesday after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused his minor cousin, according to The Seattle Times.
Murray's office released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the mayor's resignation would become effective at 5 p.m. PST. Murray maintains in the letter that the allegations against him are not true, but that he can no longer subject the citizens of Seattle to what he terms a "distraction."
“While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business,” Murray said.
This is the fifth such allegation that's been made against Murray. All of the men involved claim Murray sexually abused them decades ago, most when they were teenagers. Three of the men say they met Murray while working as male prostitutes. One of the alleged victims claims to have been Murray's foster son. Tuesday's accusations come from 54-year-old Joseph Dyer, who is Murray's cousin.
Dyer says that Murray sexually assaulted him several times while the two shared a bedroom in Dyer's mother's home in the mid-1970s.
For his part, Murray claims that the allegations are all part of a political conspiracy to tarnish his reputation and end his time in office. He says his enemies in Seattle's legislature are threatened by his progressive politics and his liberal stance on gay rights. Today, Murray changed his story just a little, saying that Dyer's allegations are the result of "bad blood" between branches of his family.
Murray was running for re-election, but cut that bid short after the scandal threatened to overtake his campaign in the media. He had planned to finish out his term, though — a plan that won't come to fruition. Instead, city councilmember Bruce Harrell will take over as interim mayor.